Wednesday, December 30, 2009

CUTE

I stumbled upon this video while looking for something else.
I thought it was a hoot.

You may have already seen it.
If so, sorry to bore you.
If not, enjoy....

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Good News and Bad News

The bad news -
It is Winter.
Winter is cold and windy and this Winter is setting up to be a particularly cold one.

There is lots of good news.
First, a savior was born, to save his people from their sins, and to take away the sin of the world.
We are celebrating that event (even if it does not coincide with the date of the actual event).
and
While it IS Winter, the days are getting longer.
This is a good thing.

In God we trust.
.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Yes, I am paying Attention

I have not said much lately, but I am still paying attention to the political events taking place around me.
This morning I sent the following email to one of my local representatives:

Dear Senator Shelby,
I was extremely disappointed to see that you voted in favor of the recent spending bill. I realize that several programs of local interest were included, but you and your fellow senators have already spend us into a debt level that defies the imagination. You need to be working on how you can reduce federal spending, not increasing it. I don't want to hear from you about how much you have "done for Alabama" by increasing the spending of money we do not have. It is MY money and you did me no favors by approving more spending without offsetting cuts. By one estimate we are now $12,000,000,000,000 in debt.

So just to remind you (again), I urge you to vote AGAINST any "health care" proposal currently before the Senate. I urge you to vote AGAINST any "energy conservation" bills that may be submitted that include "cap and trade" plans (by this or any other name), federal aid for ethanol production, carbon taxes, utility taxes, etc.

You do not need to reply to this message.

............................................

I like the good ol boys in Washington to know that I am paying attention to their doings.

In God we trust.
.

Saturday, December 05, 2009

Stuff For Sale

Due to recent acquisitions and adjustments, the following items are for sale:

Solid/veneer oak entertainment center - 55 x 45 x 18. Asking $200.00 Or Best Offer.

17" Hyundai LCD monitor. Excellent condition. Asking $100.00 OBO

17" Optiquest CRT monitor. Good condition. Asking $50.00 OBO

Windows PC, 2gb ram, 80gb hdd, 40gb hdd, AMD K6 processor. Asking $100.00 OBO

28" Sanyo CRT television set. Great picture. Asking $100.00 OBO

Serta Perfect Sleeper mattress, twin size. Excellent condition. Asking $100.00 OBO



You can email me at steev45@gmail.com if you are interested in any of this stuff.

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

A New Bible Study

I am posting this both here and on issuu.com.
While I have not written much on the subject of "religion" that will change in the next few months.
The longer/larger studies will be posted only on issuu.com, the shorter ones will be posted on both sites.
.......................................................

INTRODUCTION

Several days ago I heard a preacher on the radio quote 2 Corinthians 10:4 during his sermon. He quoted it, mentioned the small portion that related to his main point and went on. I, however, was flooded with thoughts about how much we can derive from this verse. I have heard this verse quoted and expounded upon many times. I am sure I have never heard anyone dissect these verses in the following way.

Wording quoted here is from the New King James version of the Bible.

THE UNDERSTANDING

2 Corinthians 10:4-6

4 For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds,


1 The word "for" indicates that the following statements are the logical result of statements that immediately precede this verse. (see v.3)

2 "Weapons" indicates that we are engaged in a battle or struggle which we cannot win without assistance. This fight requires tools or implements to assist us in overcoming that which opposes us. And we have more than one weapon.

3 "Our warfare" indicates that this is not a single event. It is not a battle, it is a war. It is a process. It will take effort over a period of time. "Warfare" implies an ongoing struggle. It implies that this is not a simple task, it is an extended conflict involving many people. "Warfare" is translated from "strateias", (Greek), a campaign, expedition, or military service. It implies the gathering of many fighters for a common purpose; the movement of armies from one place to another; the engagement of many fighters against many other fighters; the goal of victory over or defeat of the enemy; and the threat of death or loss if they fail.

4 "Not carnal" indicates that this is not a conflict with an enemy that can be defeated with earthly weapons. The word "carnal" is translated from the word "karkeekos", (Greek), of the flesh, bodily, temporal, animal, unregenerate.

5 If our weapons are not "carnal" they are not physical weapons.

6 Our weapons do not have the same limitations that physical weapons have.

7 If our weapons are not carnal or earthly or physical, then our enemy must not be carnal, earthly or physical.

8 If our enemy is not of the physical earth, then it must be spiritual.

9 "But mighty" clarifies the strength and value of the weapons we have. They are "mighty", translated from the word, "doonatos", (Greek), able, powerful, capable or possible. This confirms the superiority of our weapons over physical weapons.

10 "In God" ("through God" - KJV) further explains the type and source of our weapons. A weapon in God implies a spiritual weapon, for a spiritual battle, against a spiritual enemy.

11 "For pulling down", further explains the purpose and use of our weapons. "Pulling down" implies that something is built up against us. Our weapons will help us undo what has been built up.

12 "Strongholds" describes the nature of the enemy we face. It is established. It has taken territory. It has constructed a stronghold - "ochuromaton," (Greek), a fortress, a strong place of safety, a castle. Our enemy has a place of protection from its enemies. It is prepared to defend itself. It expects to be attacked.

This next verse further clarifies the nature of our warfare and the use of the weapons we have been given by God.

5 casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ,

1 The war also involves "casting down", "kathairountes", (Greek), taking down, pulling down, destroying, debunking, discrediting, refuting, showing as false, the spiritual or intellectual strongholds we face.

2 The strongholds are thoughts and ideas, "Arguments" ("imaginations" - KJV), "logismous", (Greek), speculations, reasonings, ways of thinking, ideas. But these are not just any thoughts or ideas.

3 These ideas are "every high thing", "upsoma", (Greek), high thing, lofty, lifted up, highly thought of, revered, respected, exalted by other people.

4 But these "high things" are of a particular sort. They are ideas and concepts that exalt "epairomenon", (Greek), raised up, "against the knowledge of God". These are thoughts that oppose the evidence, logic, concepts, and principles that God has given us to live our lives as he wants us to.

5 One way we battle and overcome these thoughts and ideas is bring them into "captivity", to control, limit, subject, or restrain them, such that they conform to and submit to the "obedience" of the anointed one on God - Christ.

6 One way we do this is to ignore and not respond to thoughts and ideas that would cause us to think or act against the will of God we already know and understand.

7 Basically, this is how we are to deal with temptation. If we see temptations as a kind of warfare, we will take them more seriously and apply ourselves more earnestly to resist them.

Next, we get a glimpse of the duration of this warfare.

6 and being ready to punish all disobedience when your obedience is fulfilled.

1 We are "ready", on guard, prepared, equipped and inclined, to oppose, contradict, refute, and reject, any thought or idea that is unlike that which we have learned from God or his word.

2 We "punish", "ekdikesai", (Greek), to vindicate, avenge, punish, opposing thoughts and ideas by rejecting them, opposing them, and offering and supporting alternative thoughts that support and defend the knowledge of God we have been given.

3 We will continue to withstand and "punish" these opposing thoughts and ideas until we die, when our obedience to God will be "fulfilled", completed, filled up.

4 Ultimately, those spirits and people who oppose God will be sent to hell where they will be punished forever.

CONCLUSION

Wow. That is a lot to get out of three little verses, 54 words.

The end.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

A Brief Tid Bit

I have begun to post some of my Bible studies on Issuu.com.
This is the quickest and easiest way to allow others to read these studies.

Chris and Sonia in Newark, Ohio, brought this site to my attention.
My thanks to them. (hope to see you again next year!)

To access my studies, go to issuu.com
In the search field enter "OldScribe45"
It should respond with "No results found for "OldScribe45""
Don't panic.

From the blue menu bar, under the search field, select "People"
This will bring up my file.
Select "OldScribe45" or "More info".
That should present my written files. (there are just two now)

If you select one of the files, it will open in a format like a book.
In the upper left corner, next to the "fullscreen" option box is a smaller box with some white squares in it.
Selecting this icon will give you two more options for reading these files on your screen.

I have set up these files so that you can download them if you want.

Check them out.
I welcome your comments and suggestions.

In God we trust.
.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

An open letter to the CEO of Sears.

W. Bruce Johnson,
Interim Chief Executive Officer and President
Sears Holdings Corporation
3333 Beverly Road
Hoffman Estates, IL 60179


Dear Mr. Johnson,

I have an old Craftsman circular saw that is nearly 40 years old and still going strong, but it will only accept 7-inch blades.
The carbide-tipped blade I currently use has finally become dull and needs to be replaced.
7-inch blades are difficult to find these days, since in the intervening four decades, 7 1/4 has become the standard blade size for these type of tools.
This size blade will not fit in my old saw.
So, in order to use a new blade, I needed to buy a new saw.
Plus, I wanted a new saw.

I made a special trip to your store here in Huntsville, Alabama, to buy a new Craftsman circular saw.
When I arrived in the tool department, there were about ten customers and/or children milling around looking at the displayed inventory.
There were no sales people around.
There was no one at the cash registers/checkout area.
I walked around the tool department looking for someone to assist me.
I found no one.

After about 5 minutes, a young lady came out of the back to get something from her purse under the (still empty) checkout counter.
I assumed she was on her lunch break.
On her way back to where she had come from, she asked me if I needed any help.
I told her I did.
She looked around for a sales person, found him and told him that I needed some help.
He was apparently by himself and was assisting another customer.
The young lady disappeared into the bowels of the store and I waited five more minutes.
More people came into the tool department.
There were about 20 people milling around the department now.

While I waited to be helped, I examined the circular saws on display again and found to my distress that Craftsman circular saws are now made in China.

I wanted to buy a Craftsman saw because I thought they were made in the USA, and because I wanted to support the Sears company policy of holding jobs for its employees who are called to active duty in the military reserves.
Now I had only one philosophical reason to buy a Sears product.

Disappointed, I waited for the lone salesperson.
I began to rethink why I had come all the way to this store to buy a Chinese saw.
I could get a Chinese saw at the Peoples Republic of Walmart for less money.
But I still wanted to support a company that supported our troops.

Five more minutes passed.
The lone salesperson was now helping another customer.
Two more were waiting near him.
I waited a couple more minutes and decided to go a half mile up the street to Walmart and buy my saw.
Total time in your store - about 20-25 minutes.

This was not the first time I have been ignored in this department of this store.
A few years ago, I came to the tool department to buy something (I forget what, now) on a Saturday morning.
I was one of only three customers in the department, I think.

There were at least three young men dressed in white shirt and tie, standing around talking to each other.
Since they did not have Bibles in their hands, I assumed they were Sears employees, not visiting Mormon missionaries.
One of them acknowledged me as I walked past, but he, nor any of the others, broke off their conversations to ask if I need help.
A young man at the checkout counter finally asked if I could use assistance.
I came very close to calling the department manager that morning.

It took me about three minutes to walk from my car to the tool department in Walmart.
I looked at the brands and the prices, and picked up the box of the saw I wanted from the shelf.
It took about five minutes to pay for my purchase (there were two people in line ahead of me).
Total time in the store (which was very busy), about 15 minutes.

I am now the proud owner of a new Skil 7 1/4 circular saw, similar to one you sell in your store.
Made in China.

Do I need to tell you that I am extremely disappointed in your change in tool suppliers, and the customer service in your store here.


Best regards,

Steve Nordstrom
Huntsville, Alabama

Sunday, November 15, 2009

One More Thing...

... I forgot to mention in my latest date of up.
I bought a new mattress for the Royal Bed.

There was nothing really "wrong" with my old mattress.
It was nice and firm (too firm, maybe), but had no sagage or other problems.
But my sister had raved about her new (back then) "memory foam" mattress and it made me curious.

One thing I was sure of - I was NOT going to pay $1,200.00 for a mattress, like some "X-Pedic" Norwegian companies want me to.
Nuw uh.

But I did some shopping on line.
I came across a website for Overnight Mattress.
They were selling foam, twin-sized mattresses made in the USA, for $399.00, with a 15 year warranty.
After mulling over this temptation for several weeks I went for it.

So the Royal Bed is now made of foam. (on the same nice, sturdy wood frame)
And I have changed the Royal sheets to flannel for the coming winter.
And I have a nice, firm, 10 year old coil mattress for sale.
Cheep.

Oh, and how does the new foam bed sleep?
Wonderful.
Every time I sit on it, I want to lay down and go to sleep.

In God we trust.
.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

No I am Not Dead

Sorry to disappoint you. ;)

But I have been suffering from a bit of writers block (or bloggers block).
I have been doing plenty of writing, just not here.

So, what have I been doing?
Well, I have finished the wiring job in my house (just those two plugs).
I have been weight lifting four days each week (Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday).
I have been doing some Bible studies.
Taking the remaining tax courses for my job with H&R Block.

I finally finished my analysis of D.S. Warner's book Bible Proofs of a Second Work of Grace.
I started it in 2006.
It has turned out to be 175 pages long.
So I guess I write books.

That study gave me an idea for another Bible study on the relationship of holiness, walking in the light, and chastening.
That one turned out to be 17 pages.

Then I got another idea for a study on the attributes of the redeemed.
I wondered what the Bible actually says about who the saved are and what they are like (or not like).
I thought that might have 30 or 40 scriptures.
Wrong.
So far I have listed over 1300 attributes (some of them are duplicates).
Just the list of attributes and the Bible verse that states it has reached over 27 pages.
I am amazed.
Some verses list five or six items and I list each of them separately for better indexing.
And some verses list things that the saved do not do.
I list each of those separately also.

I would like to share/publish these studies but am not sure how/where to do it.
One place to put them is here, but I am not sure that is the best way.
I'm still working on that.

I have become more active on Facebook in the last week or two.
I can see why it is popular, but I cannot spend very much time there, I have more urgent things to do (like bible studies...).

I also installed the latest version (11.2) of openSUSE linux on my computer.
It is working fine.
The install took a couple of hours because it downloaded most of the applications from a website.
That amounted to about 2.5 gigabytes of code.
Everything is working except my media player and I am working on that with the support people.
I have a minor problem with my spreadsheet application in Open Office that I am working with the support folks on, also.

Monday I start more tax training.
That will cut into my free time.
More later.

In God we trust.
.

Monday, October 26, 2009

THIS LEAD TO THAT...

Last week the battery in my Uninterruptable Power Supply (UPS) died.
It was four years old, and over a year out of warranty so I complained little.
In checking on the company website for a replacement battery, I was encouraged to buy a whole new UPS as the newer ones use less power, have better batteries, etc..
And.... they will buy back my old UPS as a trade-in.
I did some checking and decided to buy a new one.

But I knew that there was a wiring problem with the house receptacle that my old UPS was plugged in to.
The ground was not connected to the earth ground of the house.
So before I could plug in my new UPS, I had to fix the wall receptacle.

I knew that the only solution was to rewire this receptacle.
From the main service box.
It was a project that I had been putting off for four years, but I knew had to be done some day and this was the ideal excuse to do it.

So.... I went to the giant house-stuff store and bought 100 ft of house wire.
The scheduled day for the project was Friday.
So, after my weight workout, I set about re-wiring my bedroom receptacle.

My service box in in my utility room, so I stated from there, feeding as much wire as I could up into the slit into my attic.
Then it was up into the attic (with my work light) to find the new wire, get my aging body over to it (with a combination of duck walking and crawling on the edges of the ceiling joist/trusses).
Once I got hold of the wire, I had to pull it through the attic to my bedroom wall.
This involved crawling/duck walking down the center of the attic and reaching around the truss supports as I pulled the wire along.
This was a good core workout.
Too good.

Finally, I found the bedroom wall plate and the hole where the wires were run down into the wall to the receptacle.
I pushed the new wire into the hole (fortunately it was large enough to accept another wire).
Then I climbed down from the attic and cut a 2 inch by 2 inch hole in the wall next to the receptacle.
This was to help me find the new wire.
With a small mirror and my flashlight I look for new wire in the wall cavity.
No see.

So I cut over another two inches.
Still no wire.
I cut the sheet rock two more inches and look again.
No wire.

This time I expanded my slit over two more inches and up by two more inches.
And when I poked in my mirror and flashlight, Voila!, I see my new wire a few inches above my slit.
My wall hole is now big enough for me to stick my arm into the wall, grab the wire and pull it down to the wall box.
Into the box it went.
I pulled enough through to give me enough to work with, stripped off about 9 inches of the outer sheath, and stripped about an inch off the ends of the black and white wires.
I bent them into a hook shape, slid them under the screws and cranked them tight.
(I had turned off the breaker to this receptacle earlier.)

Then it was back into the attic to pull the slack out of the wall.
This amounted to about a foot or two, at most.
Then back down out of the attic and into the utility room to pull a little slack.

Then I had to rout the new wire through the holes cut into the rafters in my utility room over to the service box.
That was a good shoulder workout.
Too good.

Once I got it to the service box I did a rough measurement of what I would need to attach the wires inside the box and cut the wire.
I routed the new wire into the box and stripped off about 12 inches of the outer sheath.
Oh, and I turned off the main power breaker.
Now there were only two little places where I could get shocked.

I stripped the wire, put the ends in the appropriate holes, and tightened the screws.
Done.

With that wire.

I flipped on the breaker.
I listen.
No arc welding noises.
No sparks.
Nothing.
This is good.
I go into the bedroom again and with my DMM (Digital Muli-Meter) and my handy-dandy, all-in-one socket tester, I check the receptacles in the box.
Hmmm.
Voltage reads good, hot to neutral (122vac), neutral to ground (0 vac), ground to hot (122 vac).
But now, instead of it reading "hot/ground reversed", it reads "open neutral".
How can this be?
All I did was add a ground wire.
Oh, well.

Since my stereo/entertainment center is wired similarly, I decided to re-do the receptacle for it in a similar manner.
And today was the day.
Since I had not killed myself in the previous exercise, I was encouraged to proceed.
I found the breaker to the living room receptacle, flipped it off and went through the same process,(poke new wire up into attic from utility room, climb into attic, pull more wire into attic, poke wire down through wall hole, climb down from attic, cut hole in wall, look for wire, etc)
After a couple of wall hole expansions I found the new wire and re-wired the receptacle.

I repeated the wire pulling service box measuring, cutting, bending, stripping, bending, inserting, screwing, etc.
Done.

Flip breaker on.
No noises.
No sparks.
Good.

I test.
Same deal.
Good voltages, but "open neutral".
AND when I plug my stereo into the receptacle and turn it on, strong 60 Hz hum in my speakers.
Not good.

It took me almost exactly four hours to wire two receptacles.

Time to call in someone who knows what they are doing.
I made the call, but they have not yet come to look at the situation.


(I tested many -not all - other receptacles in my little house and NONE of them read correct.
So I have a problem. Since many of them are "not right" in a similar way, I suspect something is not right in my service box. Wee shall see....)

Stay tuned.

In God we trust.
.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Hello

Everything is fine.
I have been busy working out four days a week.
I have been working to finish an analysis of a book by D.S. Warner, "Bible Proof of the Second Work of Grace".
I got inspired to build a few small accessories for my desk, workshop and gym.

My desk got a new elevated book stand so that I could put my big Strong's concordance next to my computer keyboard.

My gym got a couple of guides (for lack of a better term) to go on my barbell so that it cannot slide to one side during a certain exercise.
This problem is the result of some imprecise workmanship on another part in my gym.
Engineering change requests/orders are in process to correct this problem.

My workshop got a new and improved box in which to store my wood scraps.
This project came about while trying to build my desk stand.
I got frustrated trying to find pieces of wood of a certain size by digging through the big bin that I had all my wood scraps in.
All my little leftover pieces were all piled together in one big box.
So, methinks, why not build a storage container that allows my scraps to be divided by size?
Good idea, my other self says.
So, off I go to my quadrille lined paper to deeziin my new box.
After some measuring, cutting and glueing, I now have a new, sub-divided box for my wood scraps.
And I can see at a glance what I have of each size of wood.
Woo hoo.

More soon.

In God we trust.
.

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Doing the Math and the Moves

Today is Thursday.
Since I have decided to return to a four-workouts-per-week schedule, today is a workout day.
And since I am continuing with the plan that I paid $40.00 for a few months ago, the Monday and Thursday workouts work that same areas of the body, to wit: arms and legs.

The exercise I dread/hate the most is lunges.
They wear me out.
Today was lunge day.
I was not looking forward to this session, or at least, the lunge part of it.

But I have successfully completed my lunge tasks for the week.
The math works out like this....

20 pound dumbbell in each hand = 40 pounds.
Partial body weight (66%) raised and lowered each rep = 110 pounds.
That equals 150 pounds total weight each repetition (for each leg).
One set equals 20 reps for each leg = 40 reps per set.
Total sets performed = 3.
3 set of 20 reps = 60 reps per leg.
That equals 120 reps combined for both legs. (20 x 3 x 2)
120 reps x 150 pounds = 18,000 pounds lifted.

That, my friends, is a lot of weight.
The largest total load of any of my exercises.
Even more than squats lately. (175 + 110 x 21 x 3 = 17,955)
When I finished my last set, my heart rate was about 150 bpm.
But I have a very strong heart, it seems.
Within a minute my heart rate was down to about 120 bpm.

It is amusing to watch myself try to walk after these sessions.
I can barely stand up unassisted, let alone walk.
After each set I stumble/shuffle to my computer in the room next to my gym room and log in my results.
And rest for a couple of minutes.
Panting like an old man trying to lift weights, oh, wait....

Speaking of math...
Look at the new healthcare tax bill making its way through the U.S. Senate this week.
It contains a new tax on every medical machine or appliance sold in the U.S..
It contains a new tax on health insurance policies that contain extra benefits.
It requires every taxpayer to buy and pay for a health insurance policy, whether you want one or not.
If you do not, you will be fined.
Since the new health care tax will be administered by the Internal Revenue Service, failure to pay your new healthcare tax/premiums will amount to tax evasion.
You can be sent to prison for tax evasion.
Your health care is free in prison.

But since almost half of the doctors in the U.S. will retire/quit if this new plan is passed (see previous post), it will take longer for people to see a doctor.
More people will die waiting for urgent care.
Since more people, who pay taxes/premiums, are dying, less money will be coming in to finance all this wonderful healthcare that there are not enough doctors to provide, so the cost of the healthcare that the survivors must pay for will go up more.

Until the last guy living will have a healthcare bill of 5,000,000,000,000 dollars. (that's trillion)
When he sees is bill, he will pass out and die from shock.
End of the problem.

I predict there will be a mass migration of medical personnel to the Mexican border in the next 5 years.
I predict there will be 20,000+ doctors all along the U.S./Mexican border where you can get any procedure performed at a discount price. (cash/charge; no insurance accepted)

In God we trust.
.

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

A Fun Time Was Had By Most

I attended the Saturday session of the 43rd Annual Tennessee Valley Old Time Fiddlers Convention in Athens, Alabama this past weekend (since most Saturdays are on weekends...)
It was good to hear the pleasant sound of acoustic instruments in the open air again.

I have been attending this event off and on for many years.
Even when my former pastor banned such attendance by completely misunderstanding what goes on here.
Since I had seen the kind of "competition" that took place, I continued to come.
I knew the intentions of the minister were good but misplaced.
I did attempt to correct him in a brief private meeting with him, but he would not relent.
So I ignored his pronouncement.

This year, as in several years in the past, a theme or trend emerged during the course of the festivities.
One year it was the year of the kids.
Several bands and individual young people showed up with exceptional talent and took awards for their playing skills. (including a blind 14-year-old fiddler who blew the walls out with his skills)
Two young men who now play in Ricky Skaggs' band "Kentucky Thunder" were among those young players - Andy Leftwich (fiddle) and Cody Kilby (guitar).



This year it was the year of the girls.



Four of the five finalists in the Junior Fiddler division were young females.
And they were exceptional musicians.
I would have hated to be a judge and have to decide who among them was the best.
And a girl won that category.



There were at least two young females in the flatpick guitar competition, as well.

The same was true of the Bluegrass Band competition.
Yep, an ALL GIRL band tore the house down.



The group is/was the Ward Family from Columbia, Tennessee (they have a website...)
Pay attention kuz you may be hearing more from these ladies.

Although there seemed to be fewer teenagers this year than in years past (it fluctuates for reasons I have yet to understand), there were plenty of contestants from that age group.



A one-handed dobro player and band.

Friday, October 02, 2009

AN IMPORTANT STORY YOU MAY HAVE MISSED

45% Of Doctors Would Consider Quitting If Congress Passes Health Care Overhaul

By TERRY JONES, INVESTOR'S BUSINESS DAILY
Posted 09/15/2009 07:09 PM ET

Two of every three practicing physicians oppose the medical overhaul plan under consideration in Washington, and hundreds of thousands would think about shutting down their practices or retiring early if it were adopted, a new IBD/TIPP Poll has found.

The poll contradicts the claims of not only the White House, but also doctors' own lobby — the powerful American Medical Association — both of which suggest the medical profession is behind the proposed overhaul.

It also calls into question whether an overhaul is even doable; 72% of the doctors polled disagree with the administration's claim that the government can cover 47 million more people with better-quality care at lower cost.

The IBD/TIPP Poll was conducted by mail the past two weeks, with 1,376 practicing physicians chosen randomly throughout the country taking part. Responses are still coming in, and doctors' positions on related topics — including the impact of an overhaul on senior care, medical school applications and drug development — will be covered later in this series.

Major findings included:

• Two-thirds, or 65%, of doctors say they oppose the proposed government expansion plan. This contradicts the administration's claims that doctors are part of an "unprecedented coalition" supporting a medical overhaul.

It also differs with findings of a poll released Monday by National Public Radio that suggests a "majority of physicians want public and private insurance options," and clashes with media reports such as Tuesday's front-page story in the Los Angeles Times with the headline "Doctors Go For Obama's Reform."

Nowhere in the Times story does it say doctors as a whole back the overhaul. It says only that the AMA — the "association representing the nation's physicians" and what "many still regard as the country's premier lobbying force" — is "lobbying and advertising to win public support for President Obama's sweeping plan."

The AMA, in fact, represents approximately 18% of physicians and has been hit with a number of defections by members opposed to the AMA's support of Democrats' proposed health care overhaul.

• Four of nine doctors, or 45%, said they "would consider leaving their practice or taking an early retirement" if Congress passes the plan the Democratic majority and White House have in mind.

More than 800,000 doctors were practicing in 2006, the government says. Projecting the poll's finding onto that population, 360,000 doctors would consider quitting.

• More than seven in 10 doctors, or 71% — the most lopsided response in the poll — answered "no" when asked if they believed "the government can cover 47 million more people and that it will cost less money and the quality of care will be better."

This response is consistent with critics who complain that the administration and congressional Democrats have yet to explain how, even with the current number of physicians and nurses, they can cover more people and lower the cost at the same time.

The only way, the critics contend, is by rationing care — giving it to some and denying it to others. That cuts against another claim by plan supporters — that care would be better.

IBD/TIPP's finding that many doctors could leave the business suggests that such rationing could be more severe than even critics believe. Rationing is one of the drawbacks associated with government plans in countries such as Canada and the U.K. Stories about growing waiting lists for badly needed care, horror stories of care gone wrong, babies born on sidewalks, and even people dying as a result of care delayed or denied are rife.

In this country, the number of doctors is already lagging population growth.

From 2003 to 2006, the number of active physicians in the U.S. grew by just 0.8% a year, adding a total of 25,700 doctors.

Recent population growth has been 1% a year. Patients, in short, are already being added faster than physicians, creating a medical bottleneck.

The great concern is that, with increased mandates, lower pay and less freedom to practice, doctors could abandon medicine in droves, as the IBD/TIPP Poll suggests. Under the proposed medical overhaul, an additional 47 million people would have to be cared for — an 18% increase in patient loads, without an equivalent increase in doctors. The actual effect could be somewhat less because a significant share of the uninsured already get care.

Even so, the government vows to cut hundreds of billions of dollars from health care spending to pay for reform, which would encourage a flight from the profession.

The U.S. today has just 2.4 physicians per 1,000 population — below the median of 3.1 for members of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, the official club of wealthy nations.

Adding millions of patients to physicians' caseloads would threaten to overwhelm the system. Medical gatekeepers would have to deny care to large numbers of people. That means care would have to be rationed.

"It's like giving everyone free bus passes, but there are only two buses," Dr. Ted Epperly, president of the American Academy of Family Physicians, told the Associated Press.

Hope for a surge in new doctors may be misplaced. A recent study from the Association of American Medical Colleges found steadily declining enrollment in medical schools since 1980.

The study found that, just with current patient demand, the U.S. will have 159,000 fewer doctors than it needs by 2025. Unless corrected, that would make some sort of medical rationing or long waiting lists almost mandatory.

Experiments at the state level show that an overhaul isn't likely to change much.

On Monday came word from the Massachusetts Medical Society — a group representing physicians in a state that has implemented an overhaul similar to that under consideration in Washington — that doctor shortages remain a growing problem.

Its 2009 Physician Workforce Study found that:

• The primary care specialties of family medicine and internal medicine are in short supply for a fourth straight year.

• The percentage of primary care practices closed to new patients is the highest ever recorded.

• Seven of 18 specialties — dermatology, neurology, urology, vascular surgery and (for the first time) obstetrics-gynecology, in addition to family and internal medicine — are in short supply.

• Recruitment and retention of physicians remains difficult, especially at community hospitals and with primary care.

A key reason for the doctor shortages, according to the study, is a "lingering poor practice environment in the state."

In 2006, Massachusetts passed its medical overhaul — minus a public option — similar to what's being proposed on a national scale now. It hasn't worked as expected. Costs are higher, with insurance premiums rising 22% faster than in the U.S. as a whole.

"Health spending in Massachusetts is higher than the United States on average and is growing at a faster rate," according to a recent report from the Urban Institute.

Other states with government-run or mandated health insurance systems, including Maine, Tennessee and Hawaii, have been forced to cut back services and coverage.

This experience has been repeated in other countries where a form of nationalized care is common. In particular, many nationalized health systems seem to have trouble finding enough doctors to meet demand.

In Britain, a lack of practicing physicians means the country has had to import thousands of foreign doctors to care for patients in the National Health Service.

"A third of (British) primary care trusts are flying in (general practitioners) from as far away as Lithuania, Poland, Germany, Hungary, Italy and Switzerland" because of a doctor shortage, a recent story in the British Daily Mail noted.

British doctors, demoralized by long hours and burdensome rules, simply refuse to see patients at nights and weekends.

Likewise, Canadian physicians who have to deal with the stringent rules and income limits imposed by that country's national health plan have emigrated in droves to other countries, including the U.S.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

End of the House Project

As is so often the case, the anticipation and newness of a project wear off/diminish once the new situation is realized.
This is the case with the new Nordstrom country house.
The "new" is beginning to wear off.
They are becoming comfortable in their new surroundings.

All of the planned painting and cleaning is complete (except one room, planned to be dealt with later).
And, suddenly, it seems, my services are no longer needed (unless the phone rings...).
Which is fine.
I knew this day would come.
I do not feel badly.

I wanted to help Fej and Refinnej as much as I could as they moved into/fixed up their new house.
As I have said, I am very happy for them.
So now, I have did what I kuud.
The time is past (for now) for doing any more.

I feel good about how much I was able to do.
Had I been stronger, I could have done more, or at least, done more sooner (instead of stretching my efforts out over two weeks).

Now it is time to get back to my "normal" schedule.
The down side of the house project was my workouts.
I missed 33% of my workouts last week. (1 out of the planned 3).
THAT bothered me.
But I was trying to balance carefulness with ego/id/hubris.

So ..... this week, I was determined to get back on my program.
And, thus, Monday the planned workout was the Inner parts of the "Inner-Outer" system that I am following.
For me that means tummy, back and chest.
My "core", as has become the current popular vernacular.
Whatever.

And this particular workout included my new (to me) exercise that I love to hate - deadlift. (the first is squats).
I have only been doing deadlifts for about three months.

The deadlift is a very simple, caveman type of exercise.
You load a long bar with about 150 pounds.
Then you lift the bar/weights from the floor to a standing position.
Then you lower the bar/weights to the floor again (or nearly so).
Done. (well, rep one is done)

During the time you are standing - with head up, shoulders back, back straight - your arms are down.
You do not try to lift the weight any higher than waist level or so. (depending on how long your arms are.)
But this simple exercise works almost your entire body.
It works directly or indirectly your calves, quads, hamstrings, glutes, lower back, abs, upper back, shoulders, biceps, triceps, chest and forearms.
That is pretty much all I own.

Today is Tuesday.
I walked this morning at 5:20 AM.
When I woke up, my hams and glutes were stiff, my upper back was sore, as were my rhomboids (middle center back muscles).
All testimony that I had a productive workout yesterday.
Woo hoo.

Tomorrow is arms and legs.

CLARIFYING ANNOUNCEMENT.

According to former president Jimmy Carter, I am a racist. (whatever, exactly, that is...)
Since, according to this former (PTL) president, anyone who disagrees with current president Barack Husein Obama is a racist.
Therefore, since I disagree with nearly all of the policies, and philosophies of Barack Husein Obama, according to Mr. Carter, I am a racist (whatever that is...).
I am of the opinion that Mr. Carter is of diminished mental acuity and should be institutionalized for his well-being, as well as that of the nation as a whole.

I am proud of my new status.
I have never been a racist (whatever that is...) before.
So I am pleased to be identified with those who disagree with the current president and his ilk.
I am doing everything I can to prevent the success of his policies.

Looking forward to 1-20-2012.

In God we trust.
.

Friday, September 25, 2009

The Friday Workout...

... was cancelled.
By mee.
I was still tired.
From the workout at Jef n Jen's house on Thursday.
And I was a bit sore from my Wednesday weight workout. (not unexpected from my first workout after a two-week layoff)

It was supposed to be arms and legs again today.
But the idea of doing my planned 120 lunges with 20 pounds in each hand, then going north to the country and doing umpteen more on a chair or ladder while painting or taping, did not appeal to me.
So I wimped out.
I may do the workout tomorrow (Saturday).
Or not.

Wee will see how I feel after todays chair-climbing games.
I do not know how many times I stepped up on and stepped down from the metal chair that was my elevation assisting mechanism today.
But I did a few.
Dozen.

I do NOT like to miss workouts.
NOT.
Just like I did not (NOT!) like to miss a run, back in the day.
But I am trying to learn how my aging (:( ) body responds to stress. (exercise is a kind of stress)
I am well past trying to impress anyone (if that is/was ever possible) but I do still have an ego (more properly an Id).
Because of this, I feel compelled to keep myself in as good physical condition as possible.
To "impress" me.
This helps my self-esteem.
The problem - if this even is one - is that I physically cannot do as much as I used to.
I get tired sooner than I used to.
That is one reason I stopped running.
I could do the effort but it was literally burning up my muscle mass.
And I was running ever slightly slower.
(I freely admit that one reason I love/loved running was the endorphin rush that lasted for hours after the session. I get a lesser high from a weight workout.)

All of this is not unique to me.
It is common with all older people.
Some just sit down and take up knitting or checkers.
But I feel compelled to fight it kicking and screaming all the way to the casket.
My rocking chair (symbolically) is just a place to rest between workouts.

Anyway....
The new country house is coming along.
Just a couple more closets to paint.
Then the final movage can be done.(some clothes and bedroom furniture is yet to arrive)
The grand babies are in turns, delightful, cute, perplexing, bratty, sweet, funny, loud, silent.

Rachael is my favorite lately. (I think I told you this already)
Mostly because she has blossomed from a shy, quiet little muffin who silently stared at me while clutching her mommy's leg, to this little angel, with long dark hair, big brown eyes, who talks to me freely with this little doll's voice.
I could watch and listen to her all day.

I am delighted for my kids for their pleasant acquisition. (as I have said)

In God we trust.
.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Computer Date of Up

Let the Royal Chronicles show that a new video card was installated in my loyal computer without incident.

DETAILS (at the risk of TMI)

Up until last night, my computer monitor had been driven by the on-board video processor on my motherboard.
It was good/fast enough for 90 percent of my needs but occasionally I would see behavior that indicated that it could not refresh the screen fast enough.
I am not a gamer, so I don't need the fastest, hottest, super-megagigapeta video processor available.
But I wanted the most video bang for my bucks.

After carefully looking at what kind of slot I have on my motherboard (PCI express x16), I researched the different video cards available.
I wanted an ATI processor, because ATI is owned by Advanced Micro Devices.
I am partial to AMD/ATI because they are not Intel. (my CPU in this computer is an AMD Athlon.)
All of my computers (I have owned three) have had AMD processors.

Intel is the largest pc CPU maker in the world (80+ percent).
I tend to shy away from the biggest companies in certain market areas.
So I don't buy Nike, Coke, Levis, Microsoft, Dell, or Intel stuff.

(One exception to this is Walmart because their food prices are so much lower than those of any other grocery seller.
But I hate that most of their non-food stuff is made in China, so I buy very little other things there.
Unfortunately, almost EVERYTHING is made in China, no matter WHICH store you go to, so it is hard to boycott everyone and buy what you want/need.)
Alas, my video card was "made in China".

(I don't shop at Target because they banned the Salvation Army from ringing bells at their doors during Christmas. I only shop at Kroger rarely when necessary because the president/CEO is a Democrat -but their store is only 2 1/2 miles from my house and they are open 25 hours a day, so it is handy in an emergency.)
My, how I digress...

AND I needed the video card to have an ATI processor that Linux recognizes (it has trouble with some of them).

With research all done, I selected my video card from one of my favorite vendors online.
It arrived yesterday.
I was preoccupied with helping Jef n Jen move into/paint their new house still.
So I spent a couple of hours helping them again.

But when I got home, my plan to install the new card today, dissolved.
I got curious.
So I shut down my trusty computer and opened the hood....

Even when "off" my computer is on at some minimal level so I pulled the plug and put it to sleep for sure.
I took the slot cover off behind the special, high-speed PCIe x16 slot, extracted the new card from its anti-static, Faraday bag, and carefully inserted it into its new, narrow home.
It popped in without incident.
Woo hoo.

I plugged my monitor into the DVI slot with the handy, included VGA/DVI adapter, and held my breath.
I plugged the power cord into the computer again and depressed the power button.
Harruuummmm.
Start up as usual.
I looked anxiously at my dark monitor for signs of workage.
Nothing.
Hmmm.

I looked over the English section of my instructions again. (the instructions were written in 16 other languages in addition to English.)
"In order for the new card to work, you must disable the on-board video processor. See manufacturers literature for details."
Hmmm.

After some poking around in "manufacturers literature" I found that I had to go into the BIOS and change a setting.
In order to do that I had to plug my monitor back into the VGA socket on the motherboard.
Done.
Restart.
Ah, the familiar opening screen.
DEL gets me into my BIOS.
I find the place I seek, make the change, SAVE and EXIT.
Plug my monitor BACK into the new video card.
Hold breath.
Press START.
Harruuummm.
BINGO!
The usual startup printing.
IT WOIKS!

The start up went normally (as it should have)
Linux woke up normally.
I went into my system file to see if my kernal actually was seeing my new video card.
Lo and behold, there it was: ATI Radeon HD 3450.
Ta da.
I am very happily.
.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

House Busyness

[typos corrected]

I extended my planned "week off" from weight lifting to a second week because I was busy every day doing house pilates.
Or it sure felt like it.
I am helping Jef n Jen get moved into their new house.

Bending, twisting, standing, squatting, stepping up on the chair, stepping down from the chair, keeping arms above your head for extended periods, climbing up the ladder, balancing on tiptoe on the ladder, climbing down the ladder - you get the idea.
And there was a little weight lifting thrown in when we moved the washer and dryer, and the antique dresser (very solid real wood), and other smaller things.
Oh, and the mattress.
Most mattresses are big, thick, heavy, floppy things.
They are like trying to move a dead elephant around.
Anyway, I have been busy.
And even though I have only been working half days, I still get tired.
Nap-takin' tired.

But I am enjoying helping my kids.
A new house is a wonderful blessing and theirs is especially so, in my mind, because it is big enough to accommodate all 7 of them.
And then some.
And being around my grandbabies is amusing and fun.
My new favorite is Rachael.
She is three, she told me.
Besides being cute, she talks.
And she has this little doll voice that I could listen to all day long.
Autumn is trying to talk along with the rest of her older siblings but she (to my ear) only manages a presentation of unknown tongues.
Keeping her binky in her mouth while talking does not help.

Yesterday, Monday, I resumed my weight workouts.
It was arm and leg day.
I lifted 75,500+ pounds.
Not bad for the first day back at it.
I am going to try a three-day-per-week system for a few weeks and see how I respond.
The four-per-week plan was productive and I feel like I gained some weight from it, but it was very tiring.
So I am going to dial the load back a notch and see if I can sustain it longer.

This new plan is actually just a modification of an older plan that I developed several years ago.
I call it an "inner-outer" plan.
Legs and arms one workout, chest, back and shoulders the other.
Two alternating workouts.
While I work the same body areas on each alternating workout, I do different exercises for those areas, so I don't get stale.
And, if you are paying attention, you will see that with this 3-per-week plan, I will work arms and legs twice one week and only once the following week, and conversely, I will work chest and back once one week, and twice the following week.
We shall see how I respond to this scrambled pattern.
Stay tuned.

Looking forward to 1-20-2012....

In God we trust.
.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

New House Busyness

Jef n Jennybeans have been trying to get settled in a new house for several months.
Maybe longer than that.
But finally (!) they closed on this house




out in the country north of Huntsville.
It is a nice house in many ways.
It is not the "ideal" house that they had designed originally, but who of us get to do what I did when I had the chance to design a new house from a blank sheet of paper?
But this is a "nice" house.
It is big enough to house all of their darling babies and their various toys and musical instruments.

I have been looking forward to them getting settled in a house that suits their needs and that they feel comfortable in.
So I am happee for them.

Soooooo, even though this week was supposed to be my first week back into my workout schedule after my scheduled week off, I am not doing the exercises I had planned.
I am helping clean and paint the new castle in the boonees with them.
While the efforts I am expending are not those planned, they are sufficient to make me very tired each day.
In addition, I have another tax class this week.
So I must save some of myself for that evening event lest I fall asleep there.

It is fun/interesting to spend some time with my grandchildren.
They each are a unique individual with a singular personality and amusing little mannerisms.
My new favorite is Rachael.
She is about 3 or 4, and a most comely and delightful little person.

I will only have this opportunity to help J n J in this way.
Once they get settled they will not need my help.
So, as BHO says, "America, this is our time; this is our moment"
Thus, I will resume the heavy exercise next week.
And savor the times I can spend with my children and grandbabies.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

And The Doctor Said....

I was born and raised in southern California.
I spent over 20 years there.
I learned early to love the warm, sunny weather.
Especially along the shore of the Pacific Ocean.
I spent minnee Saturdays walking, lying, playing on the hot, tan sand of the SoCal beaches.
Zuma, Malibu, Point Dume.

I was there.

And I still like to spend a little time in the sun.
I said all that to say this....

The price for time in the sun is the aging of one's skin if one is not careful.
And the possibility of skin cancer.

In recent years, my sister and some others have expressed concern about a couple of "spots" on my ears.
So, in response to their repeated expressions of concern (and my curiosity) I scheduled an appointment with a dermatologist.
Yesterday was the appointed time, and he made quick work of a full body look-over.

The verdict.
No skin cancer.
Anywhere.

There was one small "pre-cancerous" lesion on my left ear.
It was zapped with nitrogen.
Done.
Gone. (well, gone in a week or two.)

I am pleased and a little amazed at this result.

BTW...

The new speakers were introduced to the congregation Sunday morning with little fanfare.
There were a couple of positive comments expressed to me privately.
(the Bishop likes them.)
Other that that, no one said much.
That is a good thing in the world of live audio.
I good sound system should be almost invisible to most people.
It is then left to those few of us with 'golden ears' to assess the clarity, range, and quality of the sound reproduction equipment.
I like them.
That is good enough.

In God we trust.
.

Friday, September 04, 2009

Ta Da (again)

Let the Royal Chronicles show that the new church speakers have been installated and wired.
I spent about four hours yesterday climbing in and out of the church attic finding, cutting, stripping, preparing, and connecting the wires to the new speakers.
It was an educational experience.

The bad news was that I had to go up into the attic.
But I knew that was part of the mission two years ago.
The good news was that there was WAY more space to work in the attic than I expected (I could stand up in the center of the attic, where I had to do most of my work).

Since I used two different wires, that were connected to two different speakers in the "old" system configuration, after I connected them to the new speakers, I had to find which channels on which amplifier (we have two) they were connected to.
The plan was to have each of the new speakers connected to the left and right channel of the SAME amplifier (the monitor speakers are connected to the other amp).
It took a bit of trial and error to figure out which amp connected to which wire.
But I figured it out.
The good news about the amp channel chase was that I could do that in the nice, air-conditioned part of the church building. (on the floor)
No more attic work. :)

Now that the wiring is done, just a few small details remain to be completed (painting the new shelves, installation of safety wires to keep the new speakers from falling out of their new wall-holes, installing some cloth baffle covering to better control sound reflections in the shelf cavities).
These items are not urgent, but I will tend to them in the next week or two.
I WANT THIS PROJECT DONE!

I am veree pleezed with the progress so far.
And I am glad to have the attic part of it overwith.

In God we trust.
.

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Busy Times

[typo corrected]

I have a good exkyoos for my lack of postage lately.
I have been busy.

In addition to my four-per-week workout schedule, I have finally started on a major project at church.
The church project is the installation of new speakers in the auditorium/sanctuary.
The planned installation location for the new equipment was/is in the front wall on each side of the stage/platform.
Putting the speakers in this location required that we cut a large hole in the wall, build a sturdy shelf behind the hole, set the speaker on the shelf, and cover the hole and speaker with a nice piece of cloth.
Times two.
Two speakers, two holes, two shelves, two cover cloths, etc.

Because this plan required such major surgery on the front wall(s) of the church building, I was reluctant to begin without the Bishop's/pastor's assistance.
He gave the approval many months ago.
And the board of trustees authorized me to purchase the equipment at that time (2007).
But I was timid about banging holes in the church building walls on my own.
I kept waiting for someone with more experience and authority to work with me.
But everyone was too busy or forgot . (until I reminded them, then they forgot again.)
So.... the project dragged on and on with no progress.
Weeks became months and months became years.

Finally, I promised myself that THIS YEAR I would begin and finish this project - on my own, if need be.
Well, it turned out to be if need be.
The other brethren who were willing and good to do the work around the property, were busy repairing the basement after our flood. (a water pipe broke in the basement and flooded the entire room with about three inches of water.)
I helped a little in the basement work but not nearly as much as some of the other men.

Anyway, the speaker project was mine, it seemed.
I am the sound guy, so speakers and such stuff are my area of responsibility (my "place in the body" some might say).
Not complaining here, just stating the facts.

So, after much procrastination, I set a day that I would drive over to the building and begin measuring and cutting.
I started building the "picture frames" for the cloth covers two weeks ago and put the cloth on them last week.
I cut one of the holes in the wall last Thursday and built the shelf Friday.
Due to my advanced age (I guess), I can only work between two to four hours before I become tired (and working on, and going up and down, a step ladder for most of the party is even more tiring).
I knew from past experience that the first part of a multi-part project was always educational and exploratory, thus it took longer than the same group of tasks would take if one had to do them on a regular basis.
The second hole/shelf took about half as long.

So.... yesterday morning I installed the second speaker, hooked their assigned wires to each of them and did a brief sound test.
The first motive was to see if they worked at all. (they had been sealed in their shipping boxes for a year and a half...)
The second motive was to see how they sounded.
The third motive was to see if they provided the desired coverage for the room.

The results of the tests are in.
The new speakers each work.
Woo hoo.
The new speakers (from Carvin) sound MUCH BETTER than the old one (a Bose).
Woo hoo.
The frequency balance and coverage of the new speakers is MUCH BETTER than the old one.
I sat in several locations while a music sample was playing - front corners, rear corners, front center, rear center, middle outsides, center middles, the sound room, etc. - and the sound coverage of all frequencies was even and balanced throughout the room.
Better high frequencies, better low frequencies.
Woo hoo.

All that is left to do is to climb up into the attic and connect the wires from the old speakers to the new speakers.
Hopefully that can be accomplished this week.
I am very excitedly.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

I Told You...

[typos corrected] :(

... That one reason I loved running and felt so poorly when I stopped was because I was addicted to the endorphins that the activity produced.
Well, some lab-coat types have now verified this assertion by abusing some lab rats.
The following article is submitted for your edification....


‘Runner’s high’ can turn into a real addiction

Study finds brain chemicals that mimic same sense of euphoria in opiate use


By Dan Peterson

updated 6:59 p.m. CT, Wed., Aug 26, 2009

Just as there is the endorphin rush of a "runner's high," there can also be the valley of despair when something prevents avid runners from getting their daily fix of miles.
Now, researchers at Tufts University may have confirmed this addiction by showing that an intense running regimen in rats can release brain chemicals that mimic the same sense of euphoria as opiate use.
They propose that moderate exercise could be a "substitute drug" for human heroin and morphine addicts.
Given all of the benefits of exercise, many people commit to an active running routine.
Somewhere during a longer, more intense run when stored glycogen is depleted, the pituitary gland and the hypothalamus release endorphins that can provide that "second wind" that keeps a runner going.
This sense of being able to run all day is similar to the pain-relieving state that opiates provide, scientists have known.
So a team led by Robin Kanarek, professor of psychology at Tufts University, wondered whether they could also produce similar withdrawal symptoms, which would indicate that intense running and opiate abuse have a similar biochemical effect.

Running rodents

The team divided 44 male rats and 40 female rats into four groups.
One group was housed inside an exercise wheel, and another group had none.
Each group was divided again, either allowing access to food for only one hour per day or for 24 hours per day.
Though tests on humans would be needed to confirm this research, rodents are typically good analogues to illuminate how the human body works.


The rodents existed in these environments for several weeks.
Finally, all groups were given Naloxone, a drug used to counteract an opiate overdose and produce immediate withdrawal symptoms.
The active rats displayed a significantly higher level of withdrawal symptoms than the inactive rats.
Also, the active rats that were only allowed food for one hour per day exercised the most and showed the most intense reaction to Naloxone.
This scenario mimics the actions of humans suffering from anorexia athletica, also known as hypergymnasia, that causes an obsession not only with weight but also with continuous exercise to lose weight.
"Exercise, like drugs of abuse, leads to the release of neurotransmitters such as endorphins and dopamine, which are involved with a sense of reward," Kanarek said.
"As with food intake and other parts of life, moderation seems to be the key.
Exercise, as long as it doesn't interfere with other aspects of one's life, is a good thing with respect to both physical and mental health."

Monday, August 24, 2009

Brief Date of Up

[typos corrected]

The Friday workout was successful and productive.
Total lifted was about 30,260 pounds.
Total for the week was 175,645.
This was 14,000 more that the previous week and 23,000 more than the same workout pattern the week before that.
So I am progressing.

I "feel" thicker even though I don't see much difference in myself.
So maybe this guy's program really does work as he says it does.
Wee shall see.

IN OTHER NEWS

Friday evening me and a friend were invited to a music party at the rural home of some long-time friends.
I provided some of the sound equipment and they provided the sound.
The Wingate clan is genetically blessed with musical ability.
There were 5 of them there over two generations and each one of them could either sing or play an instrument or both.

The jam went down and the quality of the performances was top notch.
It dawned on me mid-way through the session that this group could plop themselves in almost any club or park in Huntsville/Madison and match or surpass any other musical group in town.
I have bragged about these folks before in this way and those comments still hold.
This is all the more impressive when you realize that they do not get to play together but every two or three months, in sessions like this.
A fun time was had by all.
And it was good to see my long friends again.

My son, Josh and his lovely wife, Tesia (pronounced "Tee-sha", not "Tez-ee-a", as I like to do) were there.
It was good to see them again (I did not know they were coming, it was a pleasant surprise for me)
He did an excellent job on the drums.

In God we trust.
.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Hammy Status

Yesterday morning was Arm n Leg day at the local gym (my front bedroom).
Included in the festivities was lunges; the exercise in which I pulled part of my left hamstring bundle last week.
Other than one exercise in the following day's workout, I have had few real problems or pain from the injury (the worst of them seeming to be bruised ego).

So it was with cautious optimism that I approached yesterdays workout.
I was careful to warm up my thighs and joints with 20 unweighted squats.
Then I picked up the 20-pound dumbbells and began the first rep with my left leg.
Left hammy squeaked and complained but did not actually "hurt".
Kneel down, then push back up.
Rep one.
So far, so good.
Step out with right leg, kneel down, push back up.
Rep two.
Still okay.
And so it went in set one.
When I reached rep 35 I became more cautious because it was at this point last week that lil hammy broke with no warning.
But this week, reps 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, and 40, all were without incident (other than the usual thigh burn and rapid breathing of the participant).

Relieved, I entered set one in the official Royal Chronicles and took my planned rest.
I was able to complete all three sets, (and the entire workout) with the planned number of reps and the full planned weight.
Happy happy.

So I am hereby pronouncing my left hamstring injury officially healed, even though there are still occasional twinges of pain/tightness when I make certain moves.

I am very (as in, VERY) blessed to have this level of strength/health at this advanced age (64).
I could be dying of cancer at this very moment but the symptoms have not manifested themselves to such an extent that they intrude on my daily life in any significant way.

At the persistent request of a couple of people who care about me, I have an appointment with a dermatologist next month to investigate some small blotches on my skin.
I suspect he will find plenty to service and thus, enhance his already substantial income at my expense.
Since I am one of the 47/27/12 million (take your pick, depending on who you wish to believe) Americans who do not have health insurance, the cost of this treatment will be out of pocket.
Stay tuned for the outcome of that little doe-see-doe.

IN OTHER NEWS

Yesterday I downloaded a song that I have been looking for since about 1969 or so.
Yea, 40 years.
It was included on an album by a new singer who had a "hit" song (it turned out to be their single most successful recording) on the album.
I never really liked the hit.
But someone loaned the album to me to listen to and this particular song (not the "hit") struck me as unique.
It was different from all the other songs on the album.
I only heard the song one time.

I made a mental note to record the song onto tape for (illegal) further enjoyment, but never got around to it before I had to return the record.

So years later, I tried to find the song.
All I remembered was the singer, the name of the album and two lines from the song.
The first line was, "You came into my life..."
As a few lines later, "You taught me how to fly...".
That was it.
No title.
But I knew I would know it if I heard it again.

Ah, the wonders of Google.
In spite of my past failures to find the song, I tried again yesterday.
And, lo and behold, I found it.
I located a mp3 version of it on one website and the lyrics on another.
Now I have them both. (I paid for the song, BTW)
The name of the song is "I Saw An Angle Die", by Bobby Gentry.
The "hit" song on the original album was "Ode to Billy Joe".
Most of you are prolly too young to remember the song or the singer (who is retired but still alive, BTW).

If you want to hear the song, you can listen to it here -

http://listen.grooveshark.com/#/song/I_Saw_an_Angel_Die/22967936


In God we trust...
.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Date of Up - August

Just in case either of you care....
The total pounds lifted this morning was 21,718.
41 percent of that was from dead-lifts (in spite of the fact that I loaded the wrong weight on the bar -135 instead of 155) :(
Pull-ups were next with 24 percent of the total.
Then came butterflies and bench presses.
I was able to do my incline sit-ups today (no lower back issues).
Woo hoo.

I felt tired again.
But part of that may be from the fact that I did not go to sleep until almost midnight.
I was reading a book (after reading my Bible) and did not feel sleepy enough to put it down and shut off the light.
But when 5 AM rolled around, I had no interest in parting the covers (just a sheet, actually) and doing the Lazarus thing.
So I laid in the bed and listened to the news for almost 10 minutes.
Not that I cared.
I hate listening to the news since about November of last year.
As soon as I hear the O word I am done listening.
The gray rainy weather today will help me take a compensatory nap.

Tomorrow is my "off" day.
No weight workout, just a three-mile walk around the neighborhood at dawn.

The other reason that I feel tired in the morning is that I may be over training.
After I stopped running in late May I increased my workouts from two per week to three and then to four.
My weekly workout totals in June were from 75,420 to 79,973 pounds.
In July my weekly workout totals jumped to 105,522 to 159,415 pounds.
So, depending on how you want to figure it, this amounts to an increase in work load of 39 percent, 100 percent or over 200 percent.
Any way you tally it, that is a lot of work and a lot of weight moved around.

On top of that, I am trying a new program that increases the total volume of reps for each exercise. (actually he advocates doing 7 sets of 12 reps (= 84 reps) for each body area, but I have modified it a bit.)
So, I am looking into changing something in my routine to reduce the overall workload.

Under consideration is changing to three workouts-per-week, or keep doing four workouts but reducing the number of exercises done for each body area from 2 to one.
I don't want to change too much because this new program is working.
It just needs a bit of tweaking.
Stay tuned....

In God we trust.
.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Broken Hammy - Chapter 3

You both may be getting tired of hearing about this but, be encouraged, I sense the end may be near.
The morning workout ended just five minutes ago with no problems.
It was an arms and legs session and I was surprisingly strong.

Going into it I felt tired, lazy and wondered if I was being attacked by some infestation of germs.
Dragging myself into the gym room by the collar of my shirt I began the party with my famous (infamous?) combination V-up leg-lift crunch move.
32 reps later I still felt tired, lazy and wondered if I was getting sick.

Then it was on to incline dumbbell curls.
I managed to do 42 reps spread over three sets for a total of 1,680 pounds lifted.
This was a 5 percent increase over the last time I had done this exercise.
Hmmm, not bad for feeling tired, lazy and maybe sick.
Then it was time for the moment of truth - squats.

I did a warm-up set of 20 with 95 pounds on my shoulders.
No hamstring problems but I could feel him back there on my left thigh whining about the inequalities of life.
Just you wait, I thought not too loudly. (they can hear loud thoughts, I have found)
Then the bar got fixed up to where it weighed 165 pounds.
Time to get serious about this workout.
Get sloppy or distracted in this move and you can break something.

Under the bar I go, checking side to side placement/balance of the bar.
I straighten my legs to get the bar up off the pegs and fully onto me.
We check ankles, knees, hips, lower back for any problems or complaints.
There were faint murmurings from all of them, but nothing to signal a cancellation of the move.
Down I went.
Gently and not too deep just to test how everybody was feeling.
Left ham did not like the depth and squeaked ever louder the deeper I went.
Just you wait... I thought as I came up to complete rep one.
Down I went again, this time a tad deeper.
Ouch! from left hammy.
And up.
With each rep I tried to go a bit deeper to loosen everyone up, but the plan was to finish all three planned sets even if my injured hamstring limited how deep I could go down.
I took set one all the way to 20, the planned end.

After a four minute rest we began set two.
The rest helped and the first two sets (warm up and work set) had loosened up everyone so they were feeling pretty mellow.
Set two went swimmingly.
Twenty-one reps all deeper than those in set one.
Suddenly there were no more thoughts of lazy, tired or sick.
I was good to go.

Set three was a party.
I worked to keep every part aligned vertically using my big wall mirror (often misinterpreted as a tool of narcissism).
The closer I got to twenty reps the deeper I tried to go, eventually bringing the bar to within six inches of the safety rails.
And, in spite of the still-touchy hamstrings on my left leg and the extra deep range of motion, I still knocked out 22 reps.
My, how frisky we get sometimes.
Total weight for the exercise - 17,325 pounds.
Sadly, that was 5 percent off my last session doing this exercise.
I am pondering adding ten more pounds to this exercise.
As I often poetize - twenty is plenty.

So I cautiously pronounce my left hamstring healed.
The true test will be this Thursday when I do lunges again.
Wee shall see...

Next, it was seated overhead barbell triceps extensions, where I managed to squish out an extra rep over the previous go-round of this exercise.
This totaled 2,080 pounds spread over three sets and 79 reps.
Interesting.

I finished the party with seated heel raises with 295 pounds (nearly my entire weight set) sitting on my knees.
My three sets totaled 79 reps for a total of 23,305 pounds - a 23 percent increase from the previous do-wa of this exercise.
That was a surprise kuz I was really weak the last time.
Session total = 47,096 pounds.
Woo hoo.


In God we trust.
.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Hammy Update

As both of you know, I injured by left hamstring during my Thursday morning workout.
Today was a walking day and I was curious if my little hammy would have any comments resulting from the Thursday workout where it was injured or the Friday workout where it was tested.
The answer is no.

My leg was in pretty good shape.
There was a slight tightness in my left hamstring (noted especially with putting my shoes on...) but no pain or distress during my 3-mile walk.
This is good news.

I have another walk scheduled tomorrow morning and then Monday is another arms and legs session.
Barbell squats are on tap for Monday and there is a question if the rear bundle of my left leg is ready for such a challenge.
Wee shall see....

In God we trust...
.

Friday, August 14, 2009

MO'NUTHAH HISTORICAL DAY

Yesterday was a historic day for me.
I injured myself working out.
The first time ever (if you don't count dropping a weight plate on my foot a few years ago...)

Um hum, you say. (nodding head knowingly)
See?
All that lifting and grunting and whatnot.
It ain't good for a feller.
'Specially an old geezer like yoo.

Shut up and let me 'splain.
On rep 35 of my first set of lunges(planned reps = 40), I pulled a muscle in my left hamstring bundle.
I tried to finish the set but left hammy would have none of it.
Nuh uh, him say.

After a few minutes of rubbing and gentle stretching to try to salvage the two remaining sets of the exercise, I submitted to the will of the Lord.
He had determined for some reason to cut that move short. (prolly another lesson in humility...)

I finished the other exercises in the workout and was done.
Almost every time I moved yesterday my left leg barked or squeaked in protest.

Today (muted trumpets play fanfare in the background) I wondered how my wounded hammy would tolerate my planned dead lifts (and other moves).
All 36 of them.

Well, the results are in and I win.
My hamstrings put up with (the best that can ever be said about how a part of my body "likes" a particular exercise) my dead lifts just fine.
If fact, I made a mistake when putting on the weights and assembled the weight to be 10 pounds more than planned.
I STILL did three sets of 12 reps with the "wrong" weight.
Woo hoo.

The gotcha today was bent dumbbell rows (after the deadlifts).
I was tired (from a tossy-turny night on the bed, mostly, I think) and not looking forward to the heavy rows. (which consist of lifting an 85 pound dumbell with one arm 12 or 14 times for 3 sets for each arm). [85 x 36 x 2 = 6,120 pounds total for both arms]

Anyway, a test lift in the required position elicited town-hall-meeting level protests from my left ham bundle.
That was enough for me.
I didn't want to do the exercise today anyway.
Thanks, leg.

Thankfully, my injury seems minor and keeping the affected area busy should help it be all better by next Monday when it will be squat time again.
Hopefully, my two planned walks around the neighborhood will help the problem and not add to it.
It's just walking, right?

In God we trust...
.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Obammunist Healthcare Tax Bill 2

Below are a couple more tidbits from the giant bill.
........................

SEC. 246. NO FEDERAL PAYMENT FOR UNDOCUMENTED ALIENS.

Nothing in this subtitle shall allow Federal payments for affordability credits on behalf of individuals who are not lawfully present in the United States.

[NOTE - of course, if all illegal aliens are given amnesty then they will all be here "legally" and we get to pay for their medical care.]

SEC. 1233. ADVANCE CARE PLANNING CONSULTATION.
(a) Medicare
(1) IN GENERAL- Section 1861 of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 1395x) is amended--

‘(hhh)(1) Subject to paragraphs (3) and (4), the term ‘advance care planning consultation’ means a consultation between the individual and a practitioner described in paragraph (2) regarding advance care planning, if, subject to paragraph (3), the individual involved has not had such a consultation within the last 5 years. Such consultation shall include the following:

‘(B) An explanation by the practitioner of advance directives, including living wills and durable powers of attorney, and their uses.

‘(E) An explanation by the practitioner of the continuum of end-of-life services and supports available, including palliative care and hospice, and benefits for such services and supports that are available under this title.

[NOTE - I did not see any wording in this section to support "death panels" etc.. Still checking.]

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

THE OMAMMUNIST HEALTHCARE TAX BILL

After hearing about "outraged" citizens and "out of control" town hall meetings around the country, I decided to see for mahsef what is in House bill 3200 - Obommunist healthcare tax bill. (Not the official name).
The thing is huge (1300 pages) and it is pretty dry reading, but here are a couple of tidbits from my reading so far.
I have noted the sections, etc, sos you can look it up fo yosef.

Below is a couple of sections of the House bill.


TITLE IV--AMENDMENTS TO INTERNAL REVENUE CODE OF 1986

Subtitle A--Shared Responsibility

PART 1--INDIVIDUAL RESPONSIBILITY

SEC. 401. TAX ON INDIVIDUALS WITHOUT ACCEPTABLE HEALTH CARE COVERAGE.
(a) In General- Subchapter A of chapter 1 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 is amended by adding at the end the following new part:

‘PART VIII--HEALTH CARE RELATED TAXES

‘SEC. 59B. TAX ON INDIVIDUALS WITHOUT ACCEPTABLE HEALTH CARE COVERAGE.

‘(a) Tax Imposed- In the case of any individual who does not meet the requirements of subsection (d) at any time during the taxable year, there is hereby imposed a tax equal to 2.5 percent of the excess of-

‘(1) the taxpayer’s modified adjusted gross income for the taxable year, over
‘(2) the amount of gross income specified in section 6012(a)(1) with respect to the taxpayer. [income equal to or in excess of standard deduction plus allowed exemptions - me.]

‘(b) Limitations-
‘(1) TAX LIMITED TO AVERAGE PREMIUM-
‘(A) IN GENERAL- The tax imposed under subsection (a) with respect to any taxpayer for any taxable year shall not exceed the applicable national average premium for such taxable year.

[NOTE - So you pay for health insurance whether you sign up for it or not - mee]

......................................

SEC. 412. RESPONSIBILITIES OF NONELECTING EMPLOYERS.

(a) In General- Section 3111 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 is amended by redesignating subsection (c) as subsection (d) and by inserting after subsection (b) the following new subsection:

‘(c) Employers Electing to Not Provide Health Benefits-

‘(1) IN GENERAL- In addition to other taxes, there is hereby imposed on every nonelecting employer an excise tax, with respect to having individuals in his employ, equal to 8 percent of the wages (as defined in section 3121(a)) paid by him with respect to employment (as defined in section 3121(b)).

[NOTE - so, if an employer chooses to NOT provide employees health insurance, the employer must pay an 8 percent tax on each employee's base wages to the government. Think what that will add to the cost of doing business for your local merchants. - mee]

...............................

Is that hope and change stuff working for you yet?
Just you wait....

More to come...

In God we trust.

Monday, August 10, 2009

One Mo'nutha Day

It is Monday.
The start of another week.
As has been my habit for the last year or so, I will start my weight workout in a few minutes.
Today is a session for arms and legs. (chest and back, tomorrow)

I am following a plan suggested by a contrarian trainer who contradicts the common training pattern of working each area of the body just once per week.
He suggests wording each area twice per week.
Since I am no longer running, I have the time and energy to try this plan.
This will be my fifth week on this plan and, so far, it seems to be working.
I feel stronger and a bit "bigger" (I do not see any physical differences).
The bigger feeling could be my normal delusions of grandeur after starting a new program.

According to this guru, I am to follow this plan for eight weeks then take two weeks off.
I am not going to take two weeks off at the end of the month.
I might take a week off.
Maybe.
It depends on how I am feeling (and if am still making progress).

I will prolly change to a three-per-week plan for a few weeks (4?) and evaluate whether I want to go back to the four-per-week, two-way split of this plan, or try something else.
I may go back to the four-way split (arms, legs, chest, back) I was doing before I started this program.

Almost all methods work (meaning they build or maintain strength and muscle mass and burn calories), it is just that some plans work faster than others or work better with your system.
Typically, you cannot stay on one program too long before your progress plateaus and the program becomes ineffective.
At that point you must change your program in some way - take a week or two off, or change the exercises you are doing, change the order of exercises, change the kind of exercises, change the frequency of your workouts, change SOMETHING, to get your body to respond again.

It is hard for me to believe but I have been working out with weights for 14 years.
I stopped for only a few months in 2003-4 when I was shipped off to Oklahoma to work 12-hour shifts for three months.
I ran - for 9 1/2 years - taking about a year off in 2007-8.

Those two activities are very taxing to my system in different ways.
Of the two, I love (LOVE!) running psychologically.
I am/was addicted to the endorphin high it produced.
But it was hard on my overall system.
As I grew older, it began to eat away at my muscle mass (not a good thing for a skinny old man).
That is the main reason I quit this last May.

My body loves weight lifting.
It responds by adding muscle and it likes the strength that it builds.
No real endorphin high is produced by my workouts, but I feel "good" afterward (a mild high?).
At at this time in life, weight lifting is what I must do.
As I said in my previous post when I announced by retirement from running, weight lifting is easier to control time and effort-wise to match my physical constraints as I age.
I hate to even mention age, but it is a fact of life that increasingly intrudes into my ongoing delusion that I am still twenty-something. (I feel like it most of the time...)

So, it is time to walk across the hall, into the room that has been set aside as my gym in my little house.
My torture chamber. :)
And do the moves I have assigned myself for this workout for this day.
Mentally, I don't want to.
But, once I start, I will feel better about doing it and feel better about the whole thing when I am done in an hour or so.

Here we go......
.

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

MY HOW THE DAYS FLY BY

I have been busy with the triviata of my life.
Nothing major (that I want to share at this time) going on, really.

I went to my first training course for HR Block last evening.
It is time to get ready for the new "tax season" as they call it.
There are still five months until the end of the year.
Congress and the Ocommunist administration have plenty of time to make changes to our tax laws.
None of them will be beneficial, I suspect.

I just got out of my second shower of the day.
This was done to de-sweat me from mowing my grass.
My mower again used less that a half cup of gas for the whole deal.

Prior to that I did my usual Tuesday morning weight workout.
Chest and back moves today.
Pushing and pulling as it is called by some.
The exercises today were incline sit-up (yippee, no lower back pain!), pull-ups, barbell bench press, barbell deadlift, and dumbbell butterfly (or just "flies").
Total weight lifted was 22,243 pounds.
I think I deserve a nap.

More later.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Last Campmeeting Pictures

Here is the caboose (a metaphor from a bygone era) of the campmeeting pictures.
Just some odds and ends.

First is a candid shot of some of the teenagers at the camp playing some sort of game in the afternoon.
They occasionally made a good bit of noise while having a good time.



I sneaked a picture of one of the new friends I met while at campmeeting.
Her name is Vinita.(she is the one in the black jacket.)
She is a soft-spoken, pleasant lady.
(Don't get any ideas, we just had a few pleasant conversations together)
She attends the Community Church of God in Dunn Loring, Virginia.



During the campmeeting several older people were recognized for their long, faithful service in the work of God.
One couple among them was brother and sister Rexroth (sp?).
I remember seeing them at campmeetings through the years but did not know much about them until brother Tony read a summary of their accomplishments.



I sneaked a picture of brother Tony and brother Rodney White chatting before one of the services.
I was able to get better acquainted with brother Rodney when I visited brother and sister Bayless in Lawton, Oklahoma earlier this year.
Brother White was preaching a revival meeting there with them.
I have several pictures from that visit that I forgot to post here.
I will post them soon.



That is all the pictures I will post of the campmeeting (took more but many of them are alternate shots of the ones I have posted.)

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Mo Campmeeting Pichers 5

Moving on to more pictures from campmeeting....

This little girl in the choir is the daughter or niece of the man holding her (I am not sure which).
She has some development problems.
She is not growing normally or as fast as most children her age.
Someone told me that she is three years old but looks about the size of a two-year-old, and she cannot/does not talk.
I am sure much prayer is being done on her behalf.




Here is another little muffin I saw at campmeeting.
She had come into morning prayer meeting with her mother and was sitting quietly in the back of the room while we waited to begin the prayers.



Here is another shot of the choir.



This is brother Creyts, from Dunn Loring, Virginia, near the Washington D.C. area.
He is very gifted, musically.
He played the vibraphone a few times before or during services.
The sound of the unusual instrument gave the services a surreal atmosphere.
The singer here is named Amaria.



Brother Creyts also played the drums during a couple of services.
At the piano is Ann Webb who is gifted in her own right.
She can play piano well and sing.
I can play the piano and sing, too, but it does not sound like when she does it.



Still more pictures to come.
.